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Manufacturer Model Duplication Timing

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Manufacturer Model Duplication Timing
Posted by FlyingScotaman on Saturday, May 23, 2020 8:40 AM

I would like to know why after decades of neglect 2 manufacturers will produce the same model within months of one another.

Example. The HO streamlined PRR K4. 1st Bachmann then BLI.

I can see why everyone will want to field a UP SD70 or a Big Boy, but the K4? Now that has to be a slim market and where there may be the Bachmann guys who just wont come up with the cash for a BLI and vice versa there will be those who buy BLI and wouldn't accept the Bachmann specimen there must be a fair sized mid ground who are slightly ambivalent and they are the first come first to buy folks who have been missed by the second offering.

BLI have had the chassis for this for years and years so why now?

Why not pick something more unique.

Just pondering.

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Posted by davidmurray on Saturday, May 23, 2020 9:11 AM

FlyingScotaman
BLI have had the chassis for this for years and years so why now? Why not pick something more unique. Just pondering.

From management decision until product in stores is a fairly lengthy process.  Some times faster than others, but slow.   And no one announces upcoming produces until they are very close to a production run.

A unique item, probably is from obsurce prototype, which means a small potential market.

At least this is how it seems to me.

 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, May 23, 2020 9:14 AM

I don't think the K4 has a limited maket.

Ever since I was a little kid, it has been a Railfan culture thing to debate whether the SOUTHERN PS4 or the PENNSYLVANIA K4 was the best Pacific locomotive.

The K4 models always sell. It seems like an easy decision to make a model of one every few years.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Saturday, May 23, 2020 9:52 AM

davidmurray

 

 
FlyingScotaman
BLI have had the chassis for this for years and years so why now? Why not pick something more unique. Just pondering.

 

From management decision until product in stores is a fairly lengthy process.  Some times faster than others, but slow.   And no one announces upcoming produces until they are very close to a production run.

A unique item, probably is from obsurce prototype, which means a small potential market.

At least this is how it seems to me.

 

 

Unless things have changed in recent years, I don't think that is true that no one announces upcoming products unless they are close to a production run. I remember BLI announcing a delivery date within few months for their Dreyfus streamlined Hudson. I waited close to three years before it hit the market. Even then they might have been pushed by MTH announcing they were going to offer the same loco. I had a similar experience with Walthers original 130' turntable. As I recall, the delivery date kept getting pushed back for more than a year. 

I no longer take announced delivery dates seriously. I'll believe it when I see it. Until somebody actually has a product to sell, I'm not interested in what they are planning. It means nothing to me. 

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Posted by Paul3 on Saturday, May 23, 2020 10:30 AM

This is not a new problem.  In the early 1980's, Atlas, Stewart and MDC/Roundhouse all released RS-3's at the same time.

Today, with more product coming out than ever before, duplicate models are more likely.  Why?  Because models can take years to get to market, and all that time spent on research, design, and tooling will be wasted if a company cancels a product after they learn someone else is doing it.  And because profits in this hobby are not vast, companies are very reluctant to throw away R&D/tooling money.  They'll do it if the orders aren't there, but if there's a chance to make money, they will release the model.

In this particular case, they are chasing different markets.  BLI is high end, and Bachmann isn't.  Apparently, both feel they can sell enough to make a profit.

davidmurray,
Announcements are at least a year before delivery these days, and some times much longer.  Stuff happens, as they say, and delays due to factory problems, lack of pre-orders, tooling issues, and global economic problems can all cause huge headaches for everyone.

John-NYBW,
The one thing that's good about long waits is that it gives one time to save up.  In today's limited run world, if you wait until you see it you might miss it entirely.  Personally, I'd much rather have this kind of marketplace vs. one where I either miss things because it sold out before I knew about it, or where things don't get made in the first place because companies only make the most popular items for decades (like the old days).

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, May 23, 2020 10:33 AM

Given the popularity of the Pennsy, as well as help from the PRRT&HS, I think a streamlined PRR K4 will probably sell well.  And, depending on how many units Bachmann and BLI end up manufacturing, they probably can be had at discount IF you're willing to wait for the price to drop after it's been on the market awhile.

That seems to be the norm now in MRRing.  Pay full-price now, or...take a chance and purchase it at discount later when the sellers are trying to move them.

Tom

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Posted by John-NYBW on Saturday, May 23, 2020 10:39 AM

Paul3


John-NYBW,
The one thing that's good about long waits is that it gives one time to save up.  In today's limited run world, if you wait until you see it you might miss it entirely.  Personally, I'd much rather have this kind of marketplace vs. one where I either miss things because it sold out before I knew about it, or where things don't get made in the first place because companies only make the most popular items for decades (like the old days).

 

For some reason I have never understood, we seem to be willing to accept things in this hobby that we would never accept with any other consumer product. Do you think Apple would still be in business if they had delivered the original MacIntosh computer 3 years after their original announced delivery date?

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Posted by NittanyLion on Saturday, May 23, 2020 10:52 AM

John-NYBW

 

 
Paul3


John-NYBW,
The one thing that's good about long waits is that it gives one time to save up.  In today's limited run world, if you wait until you see it you might miss it entirely.  Personally, I'd much rather have this kind of marketplace vs. one where I either miss things because it sold out before I knew about it, or where things don't get made in the first place because companies only make the most popular items for decades (like the old days).

 

 

 

For some reason I have never understood, we seem to be willing to accept things in this hobby that we would never accept with any other consumer product. Do you think Apple would still be in business if they had delivered the original MacIntosh computer 3 years after their original announced delivery date?

 

It happens in the movies, music, video games, and other things that I'm not pulling off the top of my head. 

Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy was supposed to be released in 1999. It was released in late 2008.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, May 23, 2020 10:56 AM

NittanyLion
Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy was supposed to be released in 1999. It was released in late 2008.

Bat Out Of Hell 2 was just as ridiculous from announcement to eventual release.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, May 23, 2020 11:19 AM

John-NYBW
Paul3


John-NYBW,
The one thing that's good about long waits is that it gives one time to save up.  In today's limited run world, if you wait until you see it you might miss it entirely.  Personally, I'd much rather have this kind of marketplace vs. one where I either miss things because it sold out before I knew about it, or where things don't get made in the first place because companies only make the most popular items for decades (like the old days).

For some reason I have never understood, we seem to be willing to accept things in this hobby that we would never accept with any other consumer product. Do you think Apple would still be in business if they had delivered the original MacIntosh computer 3 years after their original announced delivery date?

Apples Watermelons and oranges, John.  Personal computers (PC or Mac) and MRRing are two totally different markets.  The former is very large and ubiquitous, with a wide application field - even into MRRing; the latter is fairly niche with a much more limited market.

So, you just can't draw an anology between the two because they are so different from one another.

Tom

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Posted by csxns on Saturday, May 23, 2020 12:31 PM

Paul3
Because models can take years to get to market,

If Scale Trains made the DODX flats i have some by now.

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Posted by dknelson on Saturday, May 23, 2020 2:02 PM

You don't hear about this now, but back in the 1960s there was a problem with special interest groups with elaborate letter writing campaigns to the brass importers asking for this or that somewhat obscure steam locomotive, with the implication if not overt promise that a market of X number of modelers was waiting and ready to buy.  For fairly obvious reasons they'd send the same communications to various importers and from time to time more than one importer would snap at the bait and have the same locomotive (or other model) produced, only to learn that the promised "lead-pipe cinch" group of buyers was now split between multiple options.

Whether that explains some of the duplication we see from time to time I do not know.  But it's not surprising that competitors who serve the same markets sometimes make parallel decisions, because they are listening to the same "noises."  It happens in book publishing from time to time -- two parallel biograpies of the same person released at the same time, to the commercial detriment of both.  Sometimes it even happens with movies.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, May 23, 2020 2:59 PM

FlyingScotaman

I would like to know why after decades of neglect 2 manufacturers will produce the same model within months of one another.

Example. The HO streamlined PRR K4. 1st Bachmann then BLI.

I can see why everyone will want to field a UP SD70 or a Big Boy, but the K4? Now that has to be a slim market and where there may be the Bachmann guys who just wont come up with the cash for a BLI and vice versa there will be those who buy BLI and wouldn't accept the Bachmann specimen there must be a fair sized mid ground who are slightly ambivalent and they are the first come first to buy folks who have been missed by the second offering.

BLI have had the chassis for this for years and years so why now?

Why not pick something more unique.

Just pondering.

 

First of all, I don't model the UP or the PRR, but I'm way more likely to buy a K4 than a Big Boy or SD70 (whatever that is).

The street price of the Bachmann loco is about $280.00 The street price of the Broadway loco will be likely be about $440.00 But based on my own personal experiances with both brands, nothing suggests to me that the Broadway model will be better quality or more detailed.

The only advantage the Broadway model might have is better sound, maybe even at the expense of some detail.

I don't like onboard sound, so that would move me toward the Bachmann model.

Bachmann had a non streamlined K4 model before Broadway was even in business......

There was way less of this duplication years ago, I'm not sure why we see so much of it today. It does not seem like good business to me?

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Posted by Paul3 on Saturday, May 23, 2020 3:05 PM

John-NYBW,
We are a niche hobby in a very tiny marketplace.  How many Macs have been sold?  Millions?  Billions?  Compare that to a typical HO loco model of 3000 to 5000 units.  It's not fair to compare a high production consumer product by a zillion dollar company with a hand-made model train created by people who are not in this business to get rich.  Almost all the employees in the USA that work in model railroading are model railroaders (with exceptions like Walthers, et al); they do this because they are hobbyists, not because they are looking to get stock options.

If the model railroading manufacturers would be held to the same standard as Apple, there would be no manufacturers.   They'd all be out of business.

csxns,
Perhaps.  But I will point out that Spring Mills is literally two guys in a model railroad club that put their own money into their product.  When they come to Springfield every year, they have a woman making their boxes for them.  I talked with her and she said she only works for them at the show; she's a waitress at restaurant near the club they belong to and they hire her for that show only.  The two guys are hobbyists that happen to import model trains, not the other way around.

Dave,
It still happens.  I was personally pushing for G-85 TOFC's from any manufacturer that would listen.  I actually had one tell me they were going to go for it and to please send them all info I had on G-85's.  Less than 6 months later, just as design work was starting, Walthers announced they were making the G-85's.  The other company than canceled the project before it got too far.  But if Walthers had waited another 6 months or so, we might have had two G-85's on the market at the same time.

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Posted by maxman on Saturday, May 23, 2020 3:47 PM

SeeYou190
I don't think the K4 has a limited maket.

What exactly defines a limited market?  Look at the F7.  They have been making them for so many years one would think that anyone who wanted one would certainly have one by now.  Yet it seems that every year a different manufacturer comes out with a new model.

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Posted by Overmod on Saturday, May 23, 2020 5:48 PM

maxman
 
SeeYou190
I don't think the K4 has a limited market.


And we still don't have better grasp on the nose shape and detail not to invoke the old Intermountain comparison, or (to my knowledge) easy modular provision of all the different nitpicking 'phase' and model variants ... let alone believable chicken wire.  We were even treated to a recent 'article' that displayed near-terminal ignorance of how an actual F7 is put together (or more pointedly, would behave when taken apart); to my knowledge there is no F-unit model, dummy or otherwise, that models the carbody framing and structure accurately.  
Now, is there a market for more accurate Fs along these lines?  I suspect if there were someone would try.  I keep hoping they will.
 
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Posted by mlehman on Saturday, May 23, 2020 6:14 PM

John-NYBW
we seem to be willing to accept things in this hobby that we would never accept with any other consumer product. Do you think Apple would still be in business if they had delivered the original MacIntosh computer 3 years after their original announced delivery date?

It's one thing to build computers in a select, limited number of models.  It would be something else if they came a much wider variety of physical forms, all with different paint schemes and upholstery along with maybe 40 different operating systems.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, May 23, 2020 8:43 PM

SeeYou190

I don't think the K4 has a limited maket.

Ever since I was a little kid, it has been a Railfan culture thing to debate whether the SOUTHERN PS4 or the PENNSYLVANIA K4 was the best Pacific locomotive.

The K4 models always sell. It seems like an easy decision to make a model of one every few years.

-Kevin

 

Everybody knows the B&O P7d was the best Pacific.....

But we still don't have a decent model of that loco except in brass.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, May 24, 2020 6:51 AM

mlehman

 

 
John-NYBW
we seem to be willing to accept things in this hobby that we would never accept with any other consumer product. Do you think Apple would still be in business if they had delivered the original MacIntosh computer 3 years after their original announced delivery date?

 

It's one thing to build computers in a select, limited number of models.  It would be something else if they came a much wider variety of physical forms, all with different paint schemes and upholstery along with maybe 40 different operating systems.

 

That's still no excuse for announcing delivery dates until you are ready to start producing what you promise. If a company announces a delivery date of July 1, that should mean it is ready to start producing them today. That will give them five weeks to produce, package, and distribute them to the retail market. If they aren't ready to do that, then they should just shut up. Three years time from an announced delivery date to the actual delivery date is ridiculous and there is no excuse for it. 

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, May 24, 2020 7:38 AM

John-NYBW

 

 
mlehman

 

 
John-NYBW
we seem to be willing to accept things in this hobby that we would never accept with any other consumer product. Do you think Apple would still be in business if they had delivered the original MacIntosh computer 3 years after their original announced delivery date?

 

It's one thing to build computers in a select, limited number of models.  It would be something else if they came a much wider variety of physical forms, all with different paint schemes and upholstery along with maybe 40 different operating systems.

 

 

 

That's still no excuse for announcing delivery dates until you are ready to start producing what you promise. If a company announces a delivery date of July 1, that should mean it is ready to start producing them today. That will give them five weeks to produce, package, and distribute them to the retail market. If they aren't ready to do that, then they should just shut up. Three years time from an announced delivery date to the actual delivery date is ridiculous and there is no excuse for it. 

 

 

I agree. I worked in the retail side of this business from 1970 thru 1980. Manufacturers like Athearn did not announce new product until the machines were actually making it.

And while there was some duplication, companies like Athearn and Roundhouse went after different segments of the market rather than compete directly on every item.

How many companies are making Big Boys recently? I have never owned one. But I own about 60 steam locomotive models. And better yet for the manufacturers I own multiple copies of most of the models I have.

Just a sample, I have:

5 - Spectrum 2-6-6-2's

9 - Spectrum 2-8-0's

9 - Spetcrum USRA Heavy 4-8-2's

3 - Spectrum USRA Light 2-10-2's

2 - Spectrum 4-6-0's

5 - Bachmann 2-8-4's (now 2-8-2's)

2 - BLI USRA Heavy 2-8-2's

2 - BLI N&W 2-6-6-4's

2 - BLI READING 4-8-4's

2 - Proto 2-8-8-2's (now 2-8-8-0's)

2 - Proto 0-8-0's

Why? Because I am building a working roster for a railroad, not a museum display of famous locomotives.

BLI promised a B&O P7 for a decade, what we got was an average detail quality generic USRA Pacific with the wrong sized drivers lettered B&O. 

They keep making Big Boys because they sell, but they have no idea what they have missed by not making stuff no one else makes.

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:00 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
Everybody knows the B&O P7d was the best Pacific..... But we still don't have a decent model of that loco except in brass.

Reading between the lines in this article

http://www.gatewaynmra.org/2010/scratch-building-b-and-o-cincinnatian-locomotive/

you might be able to get there relatively inexpensively starting with one of the 3768 models. Devil

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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:44 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

 
John-NYBW

 

 
mlehman

 

 
John-NYBW
we seem to be willing to accept things in this hobby that we would never accept with any other consumer product. Do you think Apple would still be in business if they had delivered the original MacIntosh computer 3 years after their original announced delivery date?

 

It's one thing to build computers in a select, limited number of models.  It would be something else if they came a much wider variety of physical forms, all with different paint schemes and upholstery along with maybe 40 different operating systems.

 

 

 

That's still no excuse for announcing delivery dates until you are ready to start producing what you promise. If a company announces a delivery date of July 1, that should mean it is ready to start producing them today. That will give them five weeks to produce, package, and distribute them to the retail market. If they aren't ready to do that, then they should just shut up. Three years time from an announced delivery date to the actual delivery date is ridiculous and there is no excuse for it. 

 

 

 

 

I agree. I worked in the retail side of this business from 1970 thru 1980. Manufacturers like Athearn did not announce new product until the machines were actually making it.

And while there was some duplication, companies like Athearn and Roundhouse went after different segments of the market rather than compete directly on every item.

How many companies are making Big Boys recently? I have never owned one. But I own about 60 steam locomotive models. And better yet for the manufacturers I own multiple copies of most of the models I have.

Just a sample, I have:

5 - Spectrum 2-6-6-2's

9 - Spectrum 2-8-0's

9 - Spetcrum USRA Heavy 4-8-2's

3 - Spectrum USRA Light 2-10-2's

2 - Spectrum 4-6-0's

5 - Bachmann 2-8-4's (now 2-8-2's)

2 - BLI USRA Heavy 2-8-2's

2 - BLI N&W 2-6-6-4's

2 - BLI READING 4-8-4's

2 - Proto 2-8-8-2's (now 2-8-8-0's)

2 - Proto 0-8-0's

Why? Because I am building a working roster for a railroad, not a museum display of famous locomotives.

BLI promised a B&O P7 for a decade, what we got was an average detail quality generic USRA Pacific with the wrong sized drivers lettered B&O. 

They keep making Big Boys because they sell, but they have no idea what they have missed by not making stuff no one else makes.

Sheldon

 

On my last DC layout which I tore down about 20 years ago, my steamers were Rivarossi and my diesels were Athearn BB except for two Atlas diesels. I modeled the UP so I did have one Big Boy on the roster in addition to two Challengers and two Northerns, none of which have a place on my current DCC eastern set layout. Still I can't bring myself to part with them. 

I did have one Bachmann Consolidation that I couldn't keep the front truck on the track so finally I turned it into an 0-8-0. Since starting the new layout, I have a number of Bachmann Spectrum steamers on the roster including 3 Consolidations which don't have the same problem the old standard line Consolidation had. The Spectrum line is quite a bit better than the old standard line. I also have two of the 4-6-0s which operate on my branchline. I was disappointed to learn they were phasing out that line because I knew I could buy a Spectrum loco with confidence I just don't have in their standard line. It probably doesn't matter because I have just about all the steamers on my roster than I can use. 

I don't have near as large a steam fleet as you but still enough that I need all 14 or my roundhouse stalls even when a good portion of the roster is out on the road. I am a freelancer now so I don't require specific models. I just go for what is available and make it do. I buy undecorated when available but it's easy to paint over the lettering on steamers when necessary. I have 3 Mikados, a couple Berkshires, and 5 Hudsons. I have roughly an equal number of diesels with a preference for F-units. I can't tell you off hand how many I have but most are in AB sets. Most of my locos are from BLI, Proto, or Spectrum. 

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Posted by rrebell on Sunday, May 24, 2020 10:09 AM

I like Bachmann stuff, now. I remember when Bachmann just made garbage but then they came out with their Spectrum line. The very first Spectrum was not very good but much better than what they had been doing and then they started doing it right. Their new stuff is like wow, considering the price I accually have to pay. I bought an S4 DCC and sound for under $70 and the detailing is fantastic, super thin handrails and great sound. Yes they may have gotten a detail wrong, I wouldn't notice or the sound might be better on someone elses but I am fairly picky and this is so much better than having to do it all for yourself in upgrades.

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Posted by mlehman on Sunday, May 24, 2020 11:14 AM

John-NYBW
If a company announces a delivery date of July 1, that should mean it is ready to start producing them today. That will give them five weeks to produce, package, and distribute them to the retail market.

With global supply chains, 5 weeks is about enough time for the finished models to make it from final assembly to the hobby shop is probably pushing things a bit...

And that's just for getting from there to here.

Then consider the lead times for marketing. It's oprobably at least two months between ad placement and when it appears in print.

Then with things like the current crisis thrown in, all sorts of uncertainty. Are the workers avaialable and healthy? Are the finances you set up two months ago still relevant? Will there be some new tarriff out of the blue to shoot holes in your budget? Will the massive grounding of airliners cancel that scheduled flight you'd planned months ago? Did the principals on this side of the pond themselves stay healthy and faacing the same personal situations as when the contracts were signed?

It's far too optimistic to believe that every small business has all these facftors within and under it's control. And even the biggest of our mfgs is barely more than a small business. If it batters corporations with far greater resources and control over their supply chains, it can walk all over the typical hardworking model RR vendor despite the best of efforts and estimates.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, May 24, 2020 11:22 AM

We really seem to have more good choices than we ever had these days.  Sure, some models are duplicated.  Examples include Tangent and ScaleTrains offering the same Airslide hopper and road names.  I saw ScaleTrains at the WGH show with blue RI and NP airslides and then Tangent announced theres a month or so later and you could order them now, not 6-8 months in the future when they ready to sell after production is complete:

Both models appear to be duplicates between Tangent and ST, although the RI is a ST "operator" series vs. the Tangent full shebang version.

Sometimes announced models do get cancelled.  ExactRail announced the Southern Pacific C-50 bay window caboose but Athearn Genesis was further along and so ER canceled theres.

I would have liked to see a Genesis Quality G85 flat car, but the Walthers Mainline series is a pretty nice looking model.

Yes, some companies announced a year ahead of expected arrival (like Athearn and Walthers) and some announce when models are ready to ship to the customer (like Tangent).  Then there is Intermountain that literally takes mulitple years after announcing a model that you can get it.  The SD40T-2 must have been announced 5 years ago, maybe more since I've lost track, and there is still no idea when they will be manufactured and availalbe.  I've been waiting at least 2 years for the PFE ice reefers that finally did ship and I have them.  Some can say they don't bother, but if it's a model you need, I call shens on that statement.

Anyway, we really do have it good despite all the grumbling.  It seem the more choices we have, the more disatisfied some people get - but that's human nature it seems.  We can't always appreciate how good we really have it.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, May 24, 2020 11:36 AM

A few comments about Bachmann.

Since the introduction of the Spectrum Line, they have been on a program of product improvement across their whole line.

Today's latest releases, the USRA Mike and Pacific, the Streamlined K4, etc, may not say "Spectrum" but the drives are every bit as good.

Bachmann realized that ultra high detail thing was "wearing off" with many customers, so they found a balance.

They moved many early Spectrum models, that might not have been as detailed as the best Spectrum models, to the regular line. But they are exactly the same product.

They did downgrade the detail on the 4-6-0 with its recent reintroduction.

The new releases are well detailed, maybe not equal to the "best" Spectrum models they built, but still in the same general level.

I have some Broadway steam, I don't see were it is any better detailed than any of my Bachmann steam. And I have had more problems with BLI locos than Bachmann locos.........

I do believe that BLI and MTH purposely balance detail with handling durablity, and generally I don't see were they look any better or deserve all the praise.

I think the "infatuation" with BLI and/or MTH, is about sound, I'm not a sound guy. My BLI locos no longer have decoders or speakers.......

Paul says "BLI is high end, Bachmann is not", well you can't prove it by me based on my "user experiance".

Detail on a plastic/die cast steam loco, Proto Heritage line and the Rivarossi H8 win hands down over all of them. But a close second are:

Spectrum Heavy Mountain

Bachmann Berkshire

Spectrum 2-6-6-2

Spectrum 2-10-2

Just my opinon, someone who is building a believable roster for an operating layout, not collecting models of famous locomotives.

Sheldon

    

  • Member since
    January 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 9,271 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, May 24, 2020 11:49 AM

mlehman

 

 
John-NYBW
If a company announces a delivery date of July 1, that should mean it is ready to start producing them today. That will give them five weeks to produce, package, and distribute them to the retail market.

 

With global supply chains, 5 weeks is about enough time for the finished models to make it from final assembly to the hobby shop is probably pushing things a bit...

And that's just for getting from there to here.

Then consider the lead times for marketing. It's oprobably at least two months between ad placement and when it appears in print.

Then with things like the current crisis thrown in, all sorts of uncertainty. Are the workers avaialable and healthy? Are the finances you set up two months ago still relevant? Will there be some new tarriff out of the blue to shoot holes in your budget? Will the massive grounding of airliners cancel that scheduled flight you'd planned months ago? Did the principals on this side of the pond themselves stay healthy and faacing the same personal situations as when the contracts were signed?

It's far too optimistic to believe that every small business has all these facftors within and under it's control. And even the biggest of our mfgs is barely more than a small business. If it batters corporations with far greater resources and control over their supply chains, it can walk all over the typical hardworking model RR vendor despite the best of efforts and estimates.

 

No question, doing the manufacturing on the other side of the globe changes things a bit.

But I'm not getting in line and promising to buy months or years in advance. 

Nor will I plan my modeling around what might get made next year.

My ONLY positive preorder experiance has been with Spring Mills Depot, knowing that they literally are just two guys importing trains.

Rapido decided to not make undecorated PA's after I placed a preorder. Guess what, they have yet to make anything I need.

If I really decide I want those PA's, I will find another Proto set on Ebay.

I'm not mad at these companies for how they feel they have to do business. But I'm not defending them or making excuses for them either. 

Make the trains then sell them..........

Sheldon 

    

  • Member since
    January 2019
  • 355 posts
Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, May 24, 2020 12:11 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

A few comments about Bachmann.

Since the introduction of the Spectrum Line, they have been on a program of product improvement across their whole line.

Today's latest releases, the USRA Mike and Pacific, the Streamlined K4, etc, may not say "Spectrum" but the drives are every bit as good.

Bachmann realized that ultra high detail thing was "wearing off" with many customers, so they found a balance.

They moved many early Spectrum models, that might not have been as detailed as the best Spectrum models, to the regular line. But they are exactly the same product.

They did downgrade the detail on the 4-6-0 with its recent reintroduction.

The new releases are well detailed, maybe not equal to the "best" Spectrum models they built, but still in the same general level.

I have some Broadway steam, I don't see were it is any better detailed than any of my Bachmann steam. And I have had more problems with BLI locos than Bachmann locos.........

I do believe that BLI and MTH purposely balance detail with handling durablity, and generally I don't see were they look any better or deserve all the praise.

I think the "infatuation" with BLI and/or MTH, is about sound, I'm not a sound guy. My BLI locos no longer have decoders or speakers.......

Paul says "BLI is high end, Bachmann is not", well you can't prove it by me based on my "user experiance".

Detail on a plastic/die cast steam loco, Proto Heritage line and the Rivarossi H8 win hands down over all of them. But a close second are:

Spectrum Heavy Mountain

Bachmann Berkshire

Spectrum 2-6-6-2

Spectrum 2-10-2

Just my opinon, someone who is building a believable roster for an operating layout, not collecting models of famous locomotives.

Sheldon

 

I tend to agree with you especially the Bachmann Consolidation. I own three of them and quality wise they are as good as any of my BLI and better than some. I have a BLI K-4 Pacific that doesn't get electrical pickup on the left side drivers so it's only one truck from the tender that is getting electric and that promotes stalling. I thought I had fixed that once but it's acting up again. 

I got spoiled when I got my first sound loco and now like it in all my locos. I can live without it in my diesels but to me, if a steamer isn't chuffing, it doesn't seem right. Two of my Consolidations were bought before they offered them in sound. The one with sound is one of my favorite locos. Don't know if I'll be making any more additions to the roster but that's good to know about Bachmann if they do. 

DrW
  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Lubbock, TX
  • 161 posts
Posted by DrW on Sunday, May 24, 2020 5:15 PM

rrebell

I like Bachmann stuff, now. I remember when Bachmann just made garbage but then they came out with their Spectrum line. The very first Spectrum was not very good but much better than what they had been doing and then they started doing it right. Their new stuff is like wow, considering the price I accually have to pay. I bought an S4 DCC and sound for under $70 and the detailing is fantastic, super thin handrails and great sound. Yes they may have gotten a detail wrong, I wouldn't notice or the sound might be better on someone elses but I am fairly picky and this is so much better than having to do it all for yourself in upgrades.

 
I agree on the S4. It runs very well, sound is good, and the detailing is fine. Comparing it with a brass S4, made by Sam and imported by Alco in 1980 or so, the only thing missing on the Bachmann S4 are the grab irons on the front of the long hood. Fortunately, Bachmann decided not to add molded-on grab irons. Thus, adding grab irons would be quite easy.
  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 10,225 posts
Posted by mlehman on Sunday, May 24, 2020 8:09 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
I'm not getting in line and promising to buy months or years in advance.

If I had to pony up money, I don't either. But it's been years since that question ever came up for me. They're just interested in whether or not you're likely top buy something. I'm the kind of fellow who's not fickle about such things. If I say I want something, I do and I'll be patient for it. Remember, I'm in HOn3, so patience is a way of life. The Blackstone K-36 was annpunced something like a decade ago. It's still alive, but the sands keep shifting underneath things and so far, no models for sale.

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
I'm not mad at these companies for how they feel they have to do business. But I'm not defending them or making excuses for them either. Make the trains then sell them..........

I'm not really defending anything here either, just trying to note that things often aren't as simple as we'd like them to be. I'll bet even the SMD people have to stand in line to get a spot to have their cars built. No one has a vertically intergrated business in this industry. Everyone is dependent on contractors and many factors beyond their control, lots of opportunities for things to be held up or require a different direction beteween design concept and models in the store.

And there is rarely a big pot of money to just throw at problems, as the "solutions" often suggested seem to assume. I'm amazed at what arrives in high quality and relatively affordable form. If it's something arriving that's late, all the better, at least that project didn't fall apart as so many do.

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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